Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Image credit
Bubs caught a bad tummy bug, the type that resorted in a frantic 1am drive to the hospital, reverting to diapers (thank goodness we still kept a pack) and keeping a plastic bag handy wherever we went. In case you are wondering - it took heaps of baking soda, fresh rosemary sprigs and opened windows for Hub's car to smell somewhat normal again.

When Bubs semi-recovered, both Hubs and I caught his bug :( I think we used up most of the plastic bags in the house.

I ended up taking a day off work because I was so exhausted. The next day, our director flew out from the US and we had a team meeting in the conference room. My manager introduced each one of us to her.

When it was my turn, this was what my manager said, "The Nonya was out sick yesterday because she had diarrhea."

What the ...
The room went so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.
Omigoshhhh, I was so mortified, I wanted to dig a hole and hide.

The director broke the silence by laughing so hard, asking my manager to spare us all the details.
*face palm moment*

Saturday, September 27, 2014

3 Things

A round up of the little things that put a smile on my face this week.

This was my third attempt to make melting moments based on this recipe. I got a lot of well-meaning comments from co-workers that my "macarons" looked disfigured. Har di har har. The one key thing that I gained from this is - in Malaysia's scorching heat, you definitely need to chill the dough in the fridge before baking it. On my first attempt, the dough spread out into a giant pancake-biscuit.

Bubs drew Mickey Mouse and Totoro at school. They often do little sketches every day and he came back proudly showing them to me. Hubs was bemused that his drawing is starting to resemble (well, at least to us) actual objects. By the way, those aren't claws on Mickey Mouse, that's how Bubs draws fingers, even though they look semi Wolverine-like.

This induces a wistful sigh more than an actual smile. Bub's afternoon naps are now down to about an hour daily. Back when he was an infant, I used to crave for his naps just so I'd get little pockets of me-time. Now that his naps are getting more compressed, I often like to gaze at his spiky lashes dusting his cheeks and hear his contented snores. Where did my chubby newborn go to?!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Quick Ipoh Trip

Another trip down south to Ipoh.

I would LOVE to have this awesome bookshelf (at Sekeping Kong Heng) replicated at home.

No trip to Ipoh is complete without stopping by Buku 555.

We dropped by the New Star barber shop so Bubs could have a trim for his unruly mane. Hubs and I found the whole process hilarious, especially when the barber gave Bubs a traditional Indian head massage. Bubs was a bit of a minor celeb with people walking past the tiny salon to stare and take photos of him.

The highlight of our trip - Missing Marbles added an authentic, old school Super Mario pinball machine! Hubs couldn't believe his eyes and was filled with nostalgia. Dexter, the co-owner, explained that he bought the machine from Ipoh's iconic Jubilee Park game arcade and had it restored for the cafe. Hubs stroked the side of the pinball machine longingly and Bubs gazed at me with melting puppy dog eyes. Fineeeeee ... I sighed.

Boys will be boys :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The School Party

For Bub's birthday, we were invited for a mini celebration at his school. We were sooo excited that we were finally able to take a peek in what he's up to at school. Bubs was equally chuffed that from 0 birthday parties, he got 2 in a year!

Bubs rehearsed what he was going to do with his actual cake later. When he brought out a linen nappy cloth, I thought awww, how sweet, he's probably going to swaddle a doll .... until he tied it around his shoulders and proclaimed himself a super hero ... I should have known *face palm moment*

I adored all of the toys they had at the school, they are mostly from natural materials: wood, rattan, cloth. We sat there, observed Bubs interacting with his chums and listened in on his chats. It felt like such a revelation to me that my lil baby is an individual of his own, has friends of his own choosing and can carry on a conversation with them *sniff sniff*

During morning tea, we sat with the children, watched them sing their songs while making the cutest hand movements to accompany the lyrics. Bubs was presented with a toy stuffed cat and a mini book with his photos at school in it.

 The teacher then told a story about why today was a very special day and then served a freshly baked and still warm butter cake from the school kitchen - bless their hearts - Hubs proclaimed it the best cake he'd ever had. Bubs was provided with red hibiscuses and candles (the tin foil under the candles trick is genius - will have to do that for Hub's birthday) to decorate the cake with. He loved every single bit of it!

After all of the children finished their morning snacks, they raced outdoors for the playground. Bubs was showing off his crazily awesome hula hoop skills :) Hubs and I then took the opportunity to sneak out of his school without his noticing us.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

DIY Birthday Party

I still can't believe that a complete klutz like me managed to pull off DIY-ing a couple of elements for Bub's birthday party. It helped to cut down on a lot of costs and being the control freak I was, it was fun to make it more personal. Even though Bubs is a huge fiend for Lego and super heroes, he couldn't care less about the theme - it was just an excuse for me to go all wild with it ;) There are sooo many cool ideas for a Batman Lego theme and the more I looked at blogs and Pinterest, the more I wanted everything. Hubs repeatedly warned me not to go overboard with party planning and to stick to a budget.

Hubs designed the invites and got it sent off to the printers. Bubs was so chuffed to see his name printed on the card along with Batman.

We did our own Lego figurine crayons as part of the goodie bags' contents.

It was surprisingly hard to find a plain ol' paper bag to be used as a goodie bag. Most of the places I went to were charging about RM1 a bag. It didn't help that most of the goodie bags carried by Daiso were girly ones in pink and white lace. Siew put her foot down by pointing out that kids wouldn't even care about what the bags look like, they'd happily rip it open to get to the loot inside.

In the end, I went with some Daiso paper bags, printed, cut out and pasted little yellow Lego heads on the side of the bags to make them slightly more boyish. We popped in a Lego figurine crayon, a DIY colouring book that I stapled and stuck on washi tape, a Loacker wafer and a Lego-inspired super hero figurine.

Thankfully Siew talked me into including a pinata for the party. I was put off at first by the sheer amount of effort required (did I not already mention that I'm the klutzy kid whose parents had to do her art homework for her) and they aren't cheap at toy stores either. I found an easy pinata tutorial. Siew found a Batman Lego picture and enlarged it for me to about 4 pieces of A4. I used cardboard from the free boxes they leave outside at grocery shops.

I was contemplating between making it a pull string pinata but Siew said it'd be boring for the kids - and again, I'm so glad I listened to her. It was the highlight of the party to watch them whack poor Batman to get candy to shower down! I used a Daiso rolling pin (yes - it was a rolling pin at the baking aisle!) as the pinata stick. Hubs pointed out that even for adults, it takes a lot of brute strength to smash it open - so he added a pull string trap door at the bottom of the pinata - which we did use at the end!

For the birthday banner, I installed a Lego font and cut out the words Happy Birthday Bubs. I wanted the banner to look like colourful Lego bricks so Siew cut out circles for me while I stuck them on using craft foam tape.

 I bought some donuts, stacked them onto a cake stand and stuck pretty birthday candles from Daiso, plonked a Batman Lego and a bat signal (made from yellow paper and a coffee stirrer!) in lieu of a fancy cake and it was a hit with Bubs.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Batman Party

Hubs and I felt really guilty that every single year, we never throw Bubs a birthday party. We usually have just really tiny lunches/dinners with family. Now that Bubs has started school and is tight with a bunch of pals, we thought it'd be the perfect time to have a party at Urban Playground, Penang Times Square. As Bubs is a fan of Lego and super heroes, we had a Batman Lego theme.

Siew (who like me, prob spends wayyyy too much time on Pinterest) helped a LOT with the planning - more on that in a separate post and on the day of the party itself, designed the set up of the snack table. Pizza was provided by Urban Playground and we brought in extras like Nonya kuih, grapes, Oreos, cookies, crisps and some drinks. Given the fact that I'm such a klutz when it comes to all things artistic - please let me shamelessly gloat over the fact that I DIY-ed the Happy Birthday banner (decked out in Lego fonts on Lego bricks) and the Batman pinata. Siew chalked out "Bubs is 4" on a mini blackboard and I printed out a photo of Bubs in his Batman Lego tee.

Urban Playground is filled with humongous bouncy inflatables that all of the children went nuts for. They romped, climbed, jumped, crawled, slid and whizzed about everywhere. It was close to impossible to take photos of Bubs because he just couldn't keep still for even 1 second.

The ball pit was a massive favourite of everyone, from little toddlers to adults alike. It was like sleeping on a mound of soft bubbles that you could just roll around - I wish our office had something like this, it would be amazing to de-stress in there!

After an hour of frenzied play, everyone recharged with a quick meal and the birthday boy blew out the candles on his cake donuts. I cheated by figuring that candles and a Lego Batman on donuts counted as a cake.

When it was time for the pinata, the staff helped set it up inside an inflatable enclosure. I felt that it was the best bit of the party and made the hours of effort that we put in to be well worth it. Bubs was given the first go and he was terrified of it for some reason. I persuaded him to give it a few tries which he gamely did :) A few of the older boys tried as well but the pinata was too hard. It was hilarious because each time someone jumped up to hit it, the whole floor would just wobble and everyone would lose their balance and tumble down together.

So I carried Bubs in my arms, we stretched up and untied the emergency trap door that Hubs cleverly designed at the bottom of the pinata and ...

All the children were ferocious over the candies raining down! Being the cowardly mummy I am, I swiftly deposited Bubs back on the floor and bounced far away from them, LOL. It was pandemonium and I think everyone had a fair share of the loot.

Fueled by sugar, everyone ran back again to the rest of the inflatables. Batman Bubs certainly had a ball of fun.

And well, if you can't beat them ... join them :)

Hubs, Bubs and I had a pretty solid afternoon nap together after that party!

Urban Playground
Level 2 (same floor as Ming Court), Penang Times Square.
Telephone: 04-296-0275, 011 2352 5922

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dancing in the Moonlight

It was a lovely Mid Autumn festival this year. The skies were clear as it had just rained in the evening, the air was crisp and filled with the excited squeals of children carrying their lanterns.

We had some snow skin mooncakes made by MIL that were pefect: the dough was soft and the filling had just the right amount of sugar without being too sickly sweet.

Bubs couldn't decide between the blue one he made at school or his (now 3 year old) dragon lantern - so I ended up having to carry both for him while he swiftly abandoned them in favour of the playground ;)

He had so much fun playing under the bright moonlight with the other children. Happy Mid Autumn Festival folks!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Turning 4

Fairy Godma - if you are reading this, see, I kept his present hidden from him until his birthday
Someone is turning 4 in a couple of days - every now and then, I take a moment to reflect that this is the best age for Bubs to be - before realising that I seem to say that regardless of how old he is :) From his swaddled newborn days, to his first few wobbly steps, life seems to have fast forwarded to entering school, talking incessantly about his best buds, having an opinion about everything under the sun.

At 4, Bubs has now very firm likes and dislikes.

He enjoys:
Durians, nangka, cherries - what can I say, this kid has eclectic tastes ;)
Terrible sweet tooth (unfortunately, just like me) and can never say no to dessert
Super Heroes and Transformers
Lego - did you know that your feet are the best Lego finding device in the dark?
Likes watching Ummi Zoomi and Super Why on YouTube

He despises:
Mushrooms - 'nuff said. Thankfully he can be persuaded to eat other veg
Spicy food - even black pepper puts him off
Gets frustrated easily when he can't do something, eg: fix a Lego brick properly
Colouring - he enjoys drawing but finds colouring in pictures boring
Gets weepy when he gets dropped off at school - but cheers up after he spots S, his gal pal

My hope for him:
To be happy - a cliche, but true.
This parenting thing is a lot tougher than it looks. Loosely paraphrasing a quote I read somewhere, before I become a parent, I had many theories. Now that I'm a parent, I have none!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

5 Things

5 things that made my week :)

It's moon cake season here: Shanghai moon cake made by my Mum-in-Law and the cutest lil piggy moon cake that a colleague gave Bubs.

Since I'm a huge fan of Majolica Majorca's eyeliner, I decided to give its mascara a go after reading the glowing reviews online. The Majolica Majorca Lash Expander creates amazing long lashes by adding tiny fibres and the brush is more of a curved comb instead of bristles. I'm still on the fence with this as it tends to clump and I've to use a separate eyelash comb (yes, there is such a thing as an eyelash comb, Hubs was fascinated) so I don't end up with spidery lashes.

Cute packaging, sugary sweet ... what's there not to like about Tohato caramel corn? Plus the best part is that it sometimes launches limited edition flavours. I found the white chocolate berries at Jusco and the mango coconut cream was a bargain at Daiso. Even Hubs couldn't resist snacking on these.

Bubs is getting to be quite a Lego fiend. Even though we always say no more, that's it ... we end up buying a couple of small sets every now and then. Most of the sets end up as a giant mish mash of loose bricks but this doesn't deter Bubs from building.

We've recently ventured into non-fiction, mainly the Magic School Bus series and a couple of Usborne lift the flap books which Bubs find highly entertaining. Check out NoQ where the prices are nearly as competitive as Book Depositary but the best bit is that they offer free shipping for orders over RM50 via DHL which is a lot faster and more secure. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lantern Party

Bub's school had a lantern festival last week.

It started off in the evening with a potluck dinner. Bubs and his mates all then clambered around the massive garden filled with low fruit trees to climb, tyre swings and a small tree house. Being wary of mosquitoes, I insisted Bubs put on a long sleeved tee, long jeans and plenty of mossie repellent. The school also lit tiny, smouldering bonfires to keep those pesky insects away.

His favourite bit of school - the sandpit :) The teacher tells me that he can always be found there, joyfully digging and mucking around.

When dusk gave way to night, all of the lanterns were brought out, brightly lit globes of various hues. Bubs has been describing his lantern (blue) and his girl pal, S's lantern (red) in great detail to me since a couple of weeks ago so he was very proud of his creation. The lanterns were all battery operated paper lanterns decorated with colourful paper scraps.

They chanted a Hokkien ditty "lang, lang, gia teng lang, huey, huey, gia teng huey" as they marched round the field.

Bubs was searching high and low for S and he repeatedly called out loud her name while using his lantern to light his path in the dark. I couldn't stop giggling when S's dad remarked that finally, the 2 long lost loves are re-united.
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